Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin have been linking arms so tightly for some time now, that it has made it seemingly impossible for The United States to get in between. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s recent airstrikes on Yemen have gone largely unnoticed.
A recent plea to Saudi Arabia by Joe Biden to increase oil production and alleviate inflation and gas prices, was also a move to reduce profits for Russia – a major producer of natural gas – as it carries out its invasion into Ukraine. An agreement between Moscow and Riyadh signed in 2016 which gave Russia a foothold in global oil markets, including oil production, meant a spot at the table in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (aka OPEC plus, the plus referring to Russia.) So any attempt at convincing Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, bringing down prices, would conflict with its 2016 agreement with Russia and risk the friendship between Putin and bin Salman. Biden, who recently refused to meet with the Crown Prince for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, effectively tightens Russia’s bond to Saudi Arabia even more.